Alllianz Football League 2019 permutations
By John Harrington
Sunday promises to be a helter skelter day of high stakes football in Divisions One, Two and Three of the Allianz League with the League final pairings yet to be decided and relegation an ongoing concern for many counties.
Here are what the permutations look like across the divisions ahead of Sunday’s matches.
Sunday March 24
Roscommon v Kerry, Hyde Park, 2pm
Tyrone v Galway, Healy Park, 2pm
Mayo v Monaghan, MacHale Park, 2pm
Cavan v Dublin, Kingspan Breffni, 2pm
The state of play in Division 1 is as follows.
Four teams – Kerry, Galway, Mayo, and Tyrone – can still qualify for Allianz Football League Division 1 Final.
Kerry are in pole position and will be guaranteed a final spot if they can draw with or defeat Roscommon in their Round 7 match.
Even if they lose it, it’s still likely they’ll be in the League Final. The only scenario in which they don’t qualify for the League Final is if Mayo beat Monaghan and Galway beat Tyrone.
That would leave Kerry, Galway, and Mayo level on eight points each with the two teams with the superior scoring difference advancing to the League Final.
Kerry’s scoring difference is currently +11, Mayo’s is +8, and Galway’s is -1. So, all things considered, Kerry are in a very strong position right now.
If Kerry beat Roscommon, Mayo beat Monaghan, and Galway beat Tyrone, then Galway and Mayo will both finish on 10 points each, but Galway will progress with Kerry to the Final on the head to head rule because they’ve previously beaten Mayo in the competition.
For Tyrone to qualify for a League Final with Kerry they need beat Galway and then hope Monaghan beat Mayo.
Monaghan, Roscommon, and Cavan are in a relegation dog-fight, but for Cavan especially the situation is dire.
The only way they avoid the drop is if they beat Dublin, Mayo beat Monaghan, and Roscommon draw with Kerry.
That somewhat unlikely scenario would leave Cavan, Monaghan, and Roscommon together on four points each so the team to avoid relegation would be the one with the best scoring difference.
Currently that’s Monaghan on -8, with Cavan on -13, and Roscommon on -19.
Monaghan are guaranteed to stay up in Division 1 if they beat Mayo. If they draw with Mayo and Roscommon defeat Kerry, then Roscommon stay up on the head to head rule (they’ve previously beaten Monaghan in this League campaign) and Monaghan are relegated with Cavan.
Dublin are the only team with nothing other than pride to play for this weekend as they can’t qualify for the League Final and are safe from relegation.
Armagh v Cork, Athletic Grounds, 2pm
Donegal v Kildare, Ballyshannon, 2pm
Meath v Fermanagh, Pairc Tailteann, 2pm
Tipperary v Clare, Semple Stadium, 2pm.
Meath are in an very strong position at the top of Division Two with 10 points from six matches with Fermanagh and Donegal behind them on eight points each.
The Royals are guaranteed promotion if they can avoid a defeat to Fermanagh by 10 points or more at Navan thanks to their current very healthy scoring difference of +20.
If Fermanagh defeat Meath and Donegal defeat Kildare, then Meath, Donegal, and Fermanagh will all be on 10 points and the two teams with the best scoring difference progress to the Final.
Meath are very much in pole-position in this regard, but there’s not much between Fermanagh (+2) and Donegal (+5).
Kildare are still in with a decent chance of promotion too. They’ll go up if they can defeat Donegal in Ballyshannon and Meath beat Fermanagh in Navan.
At the other end of the table there’s a three-way relegation shoot-out between Munster rivals Clare, Tipperary and Cork who are all currently on three points each.
Clare and Tipperary play one another, so there’s a lot riding on that match. Clare will definitely stay up if they win because even if Cork beat Armagh and also finish on five points, the fact that they were beaten by Clare earlier in the campaign means they lose out on the head to head rule.
Put simply, Clare can relegate both Tipperary and Cork by beating Tipperary.
For Tipperary to stay up in Division Two they need to beat Clare and hope that Armagh can beat or draw with Cork.
Cork’s survival depends on the Rebels beating Armagh and Tipperary beating or drawing with Clare.
Armagh are the only team in Division Two with nothing to play for as they’re safe from relegation and can’t be promoted.
Down v Louth, Pairc Esler, 2pm
Laois v Carlow, O’Moore Park, 2pm
Sligo v Offaly, Collooney, 2pm
Westmeath v Longford, TEG Cusack Park, 2pm
The situation in Division Three is complicated by the fact that the Round 6 match between Louth and Westmeath was postponed last weekend.
That still to be played match may not yet be relevant though if Longford beat Westmeath and Laois beat Carlow this weekend
In that scenario Laois and Down would be promoted regardless of whether or not Down beat Louth this weekend.
But if Westmeath beat Longford they’re very much back in the promotion picture and that postponed match against Louth becomes very relevant.
Louth can also force themselves back into the promotion picture if they beat Down while Longford are still in with a chance if they beat Westmeath and Carlow beat Laois.
In a Division with many promotion possibilities, one thing you can say for sure is that Down will be promoted if they beat Louth on Sunday.
At the other end of the table, Sligo are already relegated and will be joined in Division Four next year by either Offaly or Carlow.
Offaly must defeat Sligo and then hope that Laois beat Carlow. In that scenario both Offaly and Carlow would be on five points each with Carlow relegated on the head to head rule because they were beaten in Round 4 by Offaly.
If Carlow defeat or draw with Laois, then they stay up in Division Three and Offaly are relegated.
Saturday, March 23
Derry v Wexford, Bellaghy, 4pm
Leitrim v Waterford, Pairc Sean MacDiarmada, 4pm
Sunday, March 24
Limerick v Antrim, Kilmallock, 1pm
Wicklow v London, Aughrim, 1pm
Division Four is already done and dusted. Derry and Leitrim are promoted and will contest the Allianz Football League Division Four Final in Croke Park.